The Union finance minister, in her maiden Budget speech, spoke of retiring old and inefficient power plants.
The government, on the back of improved rake availability, has achieved the feat of optimum coal supply at power units after a gap of 600 days. It recently declared no power units in India had critical coal stocks (of less than seven days).
Coal stock position at power plants have improved considerably with number of plants holding critical stocks declining to one this week. It tipped to 33 during mid-October last year.
The captive power plants are sweating ahead of the summer which coincides with the general election. The Central Electricity Authority had forecast the energy requirement to grow 6.5 percent to 1,337 billion units in the ongoing financial year after a jump of 6 percent in 2017-18.
Ratings agency ICRA has termed approval of High-Level Empowered Committee’s (HLEC’s) recommendations for resolution of stressed thermal power plants as a positive move.
Coal inventory at power stations rose to 16 days operation and the number of plants with precarious inventory dropped 82% to just five on February 27 from 29 on October 31 last year, a move that will make ample power available to meet rising summer demand.
Coal stocks at power plants and mine pitheads have risen to a total of 60 million tonnes, enough to generate electricity for 36 days, ending scarcity that lasted several months.
Ease of doing business: Government exempts these industries from environmental clearance for power plants
The Centre has exempted industries like steel, cement and metal from mandatory prior environment clearance for setting up a new or expanding the existing captive power plant employing waste heat recovery boilers (WHRB) without using any auxiliary fuel.
Coal India has supplied 407.02 million tonnes coal to power sector in the current year, a growth of 7.3% over the same period last year, a statement issued by the coal ministry said.
Two nuclear power plants in South India — the Kaiga plant in Karnataka and the controversial Kudankulam plant in Tamil Nadu — paint a remarkable picture of contrasts. While the former has created a record for longest continuous